Paleontology and geology
Cretaceous outcrops occur in the northeastern part of the state, in an area known as the Mississippi Embayment. This area was covered by a shallow sea that flooded the region as North and South America moved farther apart during the breakup of the supercontinent of Pangea. Rocks from the early part of the Cretaceous Period are all deeply buried in Mississippi, but the last half of the Cretaceous is well preserved at the surface. These rocks contain abundant fossils of marine life. Invertebrates include clams, oysters, snails, and crinoids. Vertebrate material includes bones of turtles and mosasaurs, as well as teeth from extinct sharks and fish, crocodiles, and occasionally hadrosaurs and theropods. Pieces of petrified wood are also common. Many of these fossils can be seen in W.M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park near Frankstown in northeastern Mississippi.